TSX retreats as banks, tech stocks weigh

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index ended lower on Monday, weighed down by losses for heavyweight banking stocks after two days of strong gains, and as the country’s technology sector tracked the larger U.S. tech group down.

FILE PHOTO - A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 89.41 points, or 0.58 percent, at 15,383.80. Seven of its 10 main sectors fell.

Investor enthusiasm for equity markets has been dampened by stretched valuations, said Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates.

“The assumptions have been that politics and interest rates wouldn’t matter that much ... I think some of those assessments are coming out of the market.”

The Federal Reserve is expected on Wednesday to raise interest rates for the third time since December, while comments by a senior Bank of Canada official raised the prospect that the central bank could hike rates sooner than investors had anticipated.

The tech sector .SPTTTK lost 2 percent as CGI Group GIBa.TO lost 1.5 percent to C$66.15 and BlackBerry Ltd BB.TO tumbled nearly 5 percent to C$14.11.

The financials group, which accounts for one third of the TSX's weight, declined 0.7 percent. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO fell 1.1 percent to C$94.26.

The energy sector .SPTTEN was little changed as oil prices broke a three-day losing streak despite rising U.S. drilling. [O/R]

U.S. crude oil futures settled 25 cents higher at $46.08 a barrel.

Cenovus Energy <CVE.TO advanced 2.4 percent to C$11.37 but Enbridge Inc ENB.TO fell 2.2 percent to C$51.00.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, fell 0.8 percent.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc POT.TO dropped 1.7 percent to C$22.51, while gold XAU= was little changed at $1,265.20 an ounce ahead of the Fed meeting this week.

Shares of aircraft manufacturer Bombardier BBDb.TO rose nearly 3 percent to C$2.44, recovering from a decline on Friday, when the U.S. International Trade Commission gave a green light to the U.S. Commerce Department to begin preparing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties against Bombardier's new jets.

Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by W Simon and Grant McCool